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OSAGE NATION RESERVATION — A sold-out Oscar watch party spent five hours on Sunday evening watching the 96th Academy Awarrds as the Oscars were handed out throughout the evening. They were there to celebrate the success of "Killers of the Flower Moon." an epic film co-produced and directed by the award-winning Martin Scorsese that told the tragic story of Osage memebers who were murdered or went missing 100 years ago. Some in the crowd were direct decendants of those murdered.

While the film did not win any Oscars, the crowd expressed to Native News Online the film was highly successful in getting the story about what happened on the Osage Nation during the 1920s.

The movie unveils the story of the Osage, who, because of oil on their allotted lands in Oklahoma, became some of the world’s wealthiest people on a per capita basis. During the 1920s, dozens of Osage died under mysterious circumstances. In many cases, those circumstances turned out to be murder. The film concentrates on the family of Mollie Burkhart, played by 37-year-old Lily Gladstone (Blackfeet and Nimíipuu), who had several members of her family murdered, including two sisters.  

Gladstone was nominated in the Best Actress category for her powerful portrayal of Mollie Burkhart. "Poor Things" Emma Stone beat her out for the Oscar to the chagrin of the Pawhuska audience. Had Gladstone won, she would have been the first Native American woman to win an Oscar for Best Actress. 

Stone, after winning the Oscar, celebrated Gladstone, too. “Lily, I share this with you. I’m in awe of you.”

Many in the crowd were extras in Scorsese that hired among the some 700 Osage and other Native Americans when the film was shot on location on the Osage Nation Reservation in rural Oklahoma, located about an hour from Tulsa.

The. biggest point of excitement for the crowd came when Osage tribal citizen Scott George and the Osage Tribal Singers performed the stage at “Wahzhazhe" that was nominated for Best Song.

Margo Gray (Osage), who appeared in several scenes in the movie, was on the red carpet on Sunday evening. (Photo/Levi Rickert)

Throughout the five-hour Academy Award televised program, the crowd erupted in loud applause every time "Killers of the Flower Moon" was mentioned. 





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About The Author
Levi Rickert
Author: Levi RickertEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Levi "Calm Before the Storm" Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is the founder, publisher and editor of Native News Online. Rickert was awarded Best Column 2021 Native Media Award for the print/online category by the Native American Journalists Association. He serves on the advisory board of the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association. He can be reached at [email protected].